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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Us 43, Galanter 21, O.j. Simpson 17, U.s. 15, America 13, Russia 9, Moscow 8, The Irs 8, New York 7, Cia 6, Spiriva 6, Cnn 6, Simpson 6, Washington 6, Benghazi 5, Toronto 5, Pentagon 5, Kgb 5, Weiner 5, Anthony Weiner 4,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    May 17, 2013
    2:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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sd says philadelphia eagles fans need a reality show called flipping the birds. indeed. that's it for "the lead." i am jake tapper. have a great weekend. i leave you now in the capable hands of mr. wolf blitzer right next door in "the situation room." thanks very much. happening now, on the hot seat. with the temperature turned all the way up. the ousted irs boss tells congress foolish mistakes not politics led to the scrutiny of conservatives. o.j. simpson is back in the public eye today. after years in prison he is making a bid for a new trial saying his ex-lawyer let him down. but wait until you hear what that lawyer is now saying. and while the movie stars were out with all their glitter and bling, someone was making off with a small fortune of diamonds. we're digging into the mystery in one of the world's most glamorous spots. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room.
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there are hot seats and then there are really hot seats. members of congress turned up the temperature today on the outgoing irs commissioner. and while he denied any political motive in the targeting of conservative groups, the agency's inspector general revealed that senior treasury officials were in fact informed that an investigation was under way before the election last year. let's begin with our chief congressional correspondent dana bash who watched this hearing explode today. dana? >> that's right, wolf. steven miller admitted in this hearing that the irs singled out groups, political groups using conservative key words like tea party but did not use traditionally liberal words like progressive. that did not help his argument that the mistakes may have been stupid but not partisan. >> so help you god. >> i do. >> reporter: two days after getting fired the irs chief apologized. >> what happened here was that foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more
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efficient in their work load selection. >> reporter: yet steven miller repeatedly insisted inappropriate irs scrutiny of conservative groups was not politically motivated. >> it was a mistake and not an act of partisanship. >> reporter: his explanation? back in 2010 the irs was bombarded with applications for tax-exempt status so they came up with a shortcut using words like tea party to i.d. groups. >> look, they get 70,000 applications in there for 150 or 200 people to do. they triage those. >> reporter: but for four hours, he couldn't or wouldn't answer many questions. >> actually i do not know that. i don't -- i don't recall. i don't know. >> reporter: left unanswered who at the irs came up with the idea? what really irked lawmakers miller found out the irs was targeting tea party groups one year ago and never told this committee which was investigating. >> why did you mislead congress and the american people on this?
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>> mr. chairman i did not mislead congress nor the american people. i answered the questions as they were asked. >> reporter: that only made republicans angrier saying he had an obligation to tell congress. >> how can we conclude you did not mislead this committee? >> i did not mislead the committee. >> does this committee have the right to know the information that you knew? yes or no? yes or no? this is absolutely an over reach and this is an outrage for all america. i yield back. >> all right. >> reporter: one surprising revelation? the way the irs finally disclosed the targeting. they planted a question at an american bar association meeting last friday. the question for the woman in charge of the tax-exempt division. >> they used names like tea party or patriots and they selected cases simply because the application had those names in the title. >> reporter: even then the irs did not tell congress. >> we called to try to get on the calendar. >> you called to try and get on
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the calendar. is that all got? you're arguing today that the irs is not corrupt, but the sub text of that is you're saying, look, we're just incompetent. >> reporter: democrats expressed outrage, too. but also tried to take the heat off the president by pointing out irs officials were not obama picks. >> appointed by then president george w. bush is that correct? >> yes. that's correct, sir. >> reporter: miller did back up white house claims it didn't know. >> did you ever have any contact either by e-mail or phone or in person with the white house regarding the targeting of tax-exempt groups from 2010 until today? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: but the inspector general revealed that in 2012 before the election he informed obama officials at the treasury department about his ongoing investigation. later republicans said that backed up the chairman's opening statement. >> it seems like the truth is hidden from the american people just long enough to make it
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through an election. >> dana is joining us now. so the bottom line, is that a smoking gun if you will, the fact that the inspector general told congress that last june, june 4th, specifically, he told the treasury department's general counsel and the deputy treasury secretary both political appointees from the obama administration that this investigation was under way? >> reporter: well, you can be sure those are going to be questions that republicans are going to ask that very treasury official who is going to be testifying before another house committee next week. however, what he specifically said is that he told treasury officials the investigation was under way. really toward the beginning if you look at the timeline toward the beginning of the investigation, in general, so if he would have told the treasury officials, obama officials about the findings that they had found that conservative groups were being targeted that certainly would be a smoking gun. the fact that they knew that this investigation was going on
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after republicans in congress were screaming from the roof tops, that the ig should investigate maybe not so surprising. >> not necessarily a smoking gun though some will try to make it sound like one. thanks very much. the president got out of town today. he was in baltimore pushing job growth. one of his agenda items over shadowed by the swirling scandals. >> i know it can seem frustrating sometimes when it seems like washington's priorities aren't the same as yours. i know it often seems like folks down there are more concerned with their jobs than with yours. others may get distracted by chasing every fleeting issue that passes by. but the middle class will always be my number one focus. period. >> joining us now our chief political analyst gloria borger and chief national correspondent john king. gloria, so this damage control effort is under way by the administration. >> you think? >> is it working? >> well, it is certainly hard to know right now, wolf.
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if you look at it from the public's point of view the president has a point which is the public doesn't like the irs. it probably doesn't like members of congress much more than the irs. so this is a fight where to them at least there's kind of no hero. maybe there is a villain and if they find the obama administration is at fault. so the president has no choice at this point but to try and pivot on it. i'm told at a meeting yesterday with outside strategists, you know, they said to the president get out of town. maybe do some town halls. try to talk to real people out there and focus them back on your agenda. that's all that he can do right now and hope republicans over reach. >> in effect trying to change the subject. >> trying to change the subject. the timing here is damning for the president because of where we are. we're in the second term heading into the six-year mid-term election. after that election it will take about 20 seconds for the 2016 presidential campaign to begin. the risk for the president here. look, they did fire the acting commissioner pretty quickly. they had paused for a couple days and then the risk is that
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people look at the irs and agencies they don't like to begin with. they don't blame the president personally but what about the treasury secretary? why was the white house counsel told a couple weeks ago that the president finds out from news reports? >> a good question. >> the white house counsel was told of the findings, not the investigation. they don't immediately tell the president. the risk is like happened to george bush after katrina when people thought the administration of the iraq war whether they supported it or not was incompetent. do people think these guys are having a hard time running the government keeping their hands on the lever,ompetence question. >> and credibility. because they lose their credibility here. here's an administration that has been talking about the things government can do for you. big government. first of all obama care. okay? big government. now immigration reform. who's going to police the borders? government. so this goes to the key question of credibility in government. people don't have it. they're not going to support government providing solutions to any kind of large problems which also goes to what obama wants to do for the rest of the
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term. >> listen to the now ousted acting commissioner of the irs testifying today. i'll play a little clip. >> i think that what happened here was that foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their work load selection. the listing described in the report while intolerable was a mistake. and not an act of partisanship. >> is that argument going to work? >> god bless him for standing up for his friends and colleagues at the irs but that was the ultimate bureaucratic answer. he disputed, i don't think this is targeting because he thought targeting would be nefarious. he took issue with a lot of the characterizations. he seemed to suggest he didn't have an obligation or the agency didn't to go back and tell congress. once it did have its findings and it knew that congress was asking these questions it didn't have an obligation. a very calculated plan to put this in the public domain. once they realized that report was in the pipeline to be published and they were going to be hammered for this.
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they did this in a defensive, calculated way. their initial response to protect themselves. mr. miller did not help himself today. >> my favorite part of mr. miller's testimony if there is a greatest hits today was when he was asked by members of congress, did you intentionally mislead us? and his answer was, he didn't mislead them. but he answered your questions as they were asked. that's not a really good answer to give members of congress. >> you want to give them the tr nothing but the truth in its proper context. >> their job is oversight. they should be allowed to do it. >> it's interesting though. lois lerner when she released it at the american bar association, first rule of bad news damage control, if you got bad news you release it. don't wait for your enemies to get ahold of that. and that is clearly on their mind. thanks very much. up next, the powerball jackpot. hitting $600 million. and it's climbing. if no one beats the odds tomorrow it could be approaching, yes, $1 billion. also coming up glamour,
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glitter, and bling. while movie stars were out showing their style someone was making off with very valuable diamonds. [ female announcer ] a classic meatloaf recipe from stouffer's starts with ground beef, onions and peppers baked in a ketchup glaze with savory gravy and mashed russet potatoes. what makes stouffer's meatloaf best of all? that moment you enjoy it at home. stouffer's. made with care, for you or your family.
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be on the lookout for lottery fever this weekend. tomorrow night's powerball jackpot will be worth at least $600 million. they sell powerball tickets in 43 states plus the district of columbia and the u.s. virginnd one of those states, new jersey where cnn business correspondent zain asher is standing by. has the fever gotten intense already, zain? >> reporter: it is absolutely very intense over here, wolf. i actually caught one man in the middle of buying ten lottery tickets and another man telling me he spends on average $80 a day in general on lottery tickets and says that tomorrow would absolutely be no exception. i do also want to say if you are spending that kind of cash on lottery tickets it is very important that you do not spend
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more money than you can afford to lose. the jackpot right now as you know stands at $600 million. it is of course the second largest in u.s. history and you do have the choice of either annual payments or a lump sum payment and the catch of course with the lump sum is you get a little less money. you would get in this case $376 million. i personally would not be complaining about that. however, what i probably would complain about is the chances of winning. they are absolutely dismal. one in 175 million. those are your chances of winning tomorrow. actually that is an improvement because previously a couple years ago it would have been one in 195 million. so i guess we are getting closer. that's not stopping people though. i did speak to one woman and i asked her what would you spend the money on. here is what she had to say. >> i would pay off my mortgage. i would pay off my parents' house, their mortgage down the shore. i would buy a shore house myself right on the beach and definitely donate to the cancer
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society. my mother is a cancer survivor two times already. so i would donate to that charity and probably another charity. and set up a college fund for my children. >> just think about it, zain. $600 million. what you could do with all of that money. i know you've been thinking about it. >> reporter: i have indeed. there are a couple things you could do with that money. first of all you could buy your own private island in hawaii. the island of lanai costs roughly $500 million to $600 million. you could also buy the washington wizards. the price tag for the washington wizards is roughly $400 million. this is my favorite. you could actually buy your own private space ship. virgin galactics space ship tube is roughly $400 million as well. >> i don't know if the owner of the washington wizards is ready to sell but $400 million is $400 million. all right. zain, thanks very much. we'll see if there is a winner this weekend. when we come back an old lottery
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ticket found in a cookie jar turns out to be a winner. you probably can't begin to guess just how much that one was worth. o.j. simpson comes face to face with the man he blames for 33 years he is serving in prison right now. could his former attorney destroy his attempt to win back his freedom? that and a lot more news coming up right here in the situation room. i have copd. if you've got it, you know how hard it can be to breathe and man, you know how that feels. copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my obstructed airways for a full 24 hours. you know, spiriva helps me breathe easier. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help
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with more choices and fewer calories... america's beverage companies are delivering. a quick look at other stories we're monitoring in the situation room. nine people are set to be dead. more than 70 others wounded including children after two cars exploded simultaneously in
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kandahar city, afghanistan. the spokesman for the governor of the province says the cars were packed with explosives that detonated as an afghan national police vehicle passed. most of the people in the area had gathered for a picnic. wall street wrapped up a fourth straight week on a high with the dow finishing up at a record of more than 15,350 points. the boost comes on the heels of new signs of improvement in the economy including a measure of consumer sentiment soaring to its highest level, get this, in nearly six years. and a report showing a bounce back in the leading economic indicators for the month of april. this next story comes from it is almost too good to be true but it is. talk about amazing luck. a man was cleaning out a cookie jar filled with old lottery tickets and took them into a convenience store to have them scanned. turns out one of them was worth a winning number of $4,850,000.
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he says he and his family will use the winnings to pay off their home which happens to be facing foreclosure. congratulations. check this out. an unbelievable play for lsu's rafe rhymes who seizes the chance to run the bases after he dives to catch it in center field and misses. as he comes in for home plate he gets flipped head over heels by the other team. that didn't stop him from scoring a home run. you saw it right there. when we come back another dramatic day for o.j. simpson in court. why his ex-attorney could derail his fight to win back his freedom. and a cnn money exclusive. bernard madoff speaking out from prison about the notorious ponzi scheme that stole billions of dollars from thousands of people. you're going to hear why he says he isn't sleeping right now and what haunts him the most. ♪ [ female announcer ] from more efficient payments. ♪ to more efficient pick-ups.
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he blames for the 33 years he is currently serving in prison. could his former attorney end up derailing o.j. simpson's fight for freedom? plus, a cnn money exclusive. bernard madoff speaking out from prison about the notorious ponzi scheme that cost thousands of people billions of dollars. you'll hear what he says haunts him the most. and a brazen jewelry heist at one of hollywood's biggest events. details on the potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in diamonds stolen during the famed cannes film festival. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." another dramatic day in court for o.j. simpson who came face to face with the man he blames for the 33 years he's now serving in prison on robbery and kidnapping convictions. his ex-attorney yale galanter but galanter told the court just the opposite today arguing it
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was o.j. simpson who, quote, screwed up. and joining us now joey jackson, our cnn and hln i should say legal analyst. thanks very much for coming in. in the o.j. simpson trial as you know we're getting two very different versions. o.j. simpson's version of what his lawyer did or did not do, and the attorney yale galanter saying something very different. listen to what o.j. said on wednesday, what yale galanter, his attorney, former attorney i should say, said today. >> if you understood that you could have actually been convicted, based on the state's evidence at the close of its case, would you have insisted on testifying? >> yes. >> and again the reason you didn't is because mr. galanter told you you could not be convicted? >> he didn't believe i could be convicted. >> did you ever advise mr. simpson that he didn't have to testify because the state hadn't met its burden of proof?
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>> the -- no. we, you know, o.j. and i discussed testifying or not testifying basically since the day after his arrest. and o.j. was reluctant to testify. i thought that the defense faced with this type of evidence was viable. o.j. liked the idea. i had always told o.j. that we're going to have to wait and see and, you know, obviously a decision is always his. >> a very different version. who do you think is more compelling? >> surprise, surprise. now let's talk about why both of them are interested witnesses, wolf, as a matter of law. that means something. what it means is both have an interest potentially to fabrica fabricate. why? let's speak about o.j. first. he may have an interest in fabricating or does because of the fact that his life depends upon this. 9 to 33 years is a long time so you better believe that any
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defendt similarly situated in his position may say something that is less than truthful. let's turn our attention to yale galanter. now, his reputation is at stake, his credibility is at stake. when you're a lawyer that's all you have. so as far as he is concerned, he may in taking the stand have some motivation to say things that are in keeping with accepted practice to show that he's a good attorney. he's more than a good attorney. that he, you know, is a great attorney and knows what he's doing. i think both of them are interested witnesses. the final thought, wolf, is this. it's up to a judge to assess the credibility and make a determination is it a o.j. or b yale galanter? >> another key point is whether or not yale galanter the attorney notified o.j. that the prosecution was interested in a plea deal that potentially he would have pleaded guilty but not gotten 33 years in jail. maybe a year or two in jail and very different statements coming from o.j. and yale galanter. i'll play the clips.
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>> did you have discussions with him about potential plea negotiations? >> no. >> okay. the subject never came up? >> it came up because i asked why did they offer those guys pleas and i was the only guy that was not trying to run, you know, get out of town. and i was the guy that was ready to talk to the police from day one. and so i couldn't understand why they hadn't offered me a deal that they were offering these guys. >> they had made plea offers to everybody else. everybody else was getting probation. o.j. knew about the meeting. o.j. said to me he would take probation also. he basically wanted, you know, his position was that he should be entitled to get the same thing everybody with the guns got. and you know, we broechd that topic with chris and david and they wanted five to seven, two to seven. they wanted a significant amount of prison time.
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i told them i didn't think o.j. would go for that. back to o.j. after that meeting and told him and he said no how no way. >> this is a key, key issue right now whether or not there was legal malpractice, whether or not galanter informed o.j. of any plea deal. >> sure. it's very important, wolf. why is it important? because when you are establishing ineffective assistance of counsel you're really looking at two things. one the deficiency of the attorney's performance and number two that prejudiced the outcome meaning because of that deficiency it affected the result. you got convicted. so, clearly, in the event o.j. was informed of the plea deal if there was one and he said no, then certainly that's outcome determine nah tiff. that is a critical issue and again a question of fact. did he, was he offered a plea deal and did yale galanter inform him of that? certainly as an attorney you have an obligation to do that so the judge is going to assess who is credible, who is not, who should i believe, and the final thing, wolf, is it's by preponderance of the evidence
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standard that this is measured. it's not at this hearing beyond a reasonable doubt. the standard that he deserves another trial, the preponderance of the evidence. >> the burden is enormous on o.j. right now. bottom line does it look like he could potentially win this hearing? >> i always hate to be a fortune teller. i think certainly the judge has a basis to do whatever the judge wants to do. if the judge says listen, i'm going to err on the side of safety, i'll believe o.j., i'll put credibility into him, i think that he establishes by preponderance of the evidence there was ineffective assistance. i'll give him a new trial. at the same time the judge could conclude there is just not enough here. it's he say she say they say we say no conclusive proof and i deny it. it is good to be the judge. since i'm not the judge i'll leave it to the judge, wolf. >> we'll wait for the judge to make that decision. all right. thanks very much. >> a pleasure. privilege. from superstar to murder suspect to convicted felon much of the world has been captivated
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over the years with o.j. simpson. brian todd is here with a closer look why he's got this part of the story for us. he has been around for a long time. >> he has, wolf. captivate is a good word. o.j. simpson has captivated america for better or for worse for about four decades now. that's why this past wednesday when we had breaking news on the white house e-mails on benghazi, the president's statement on the irs and a crucial moment in the jodi arias trial, we still found time to tell you about o.j. simpson's court appearance. we were riveted to the screen talking about how he grabbed his memorabilia from dealers in las vegas the first time we had heard him speak publicly in years. >> that is what i told everybody involved, that if they don't give it to me i'm going to get the police in there. >> why would we take such an interest in a puffy, shackled, 65-year-old o.j. simpson? michael o'keefe of the new york daily news says it is the o.j. simpson story that pulls us in. >> we're drawn to o.j. because
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he has been in the public eye for going on 40 years now and we've seen a spectacular rise and fall in his life. >> america first took widespread notice of simpson when he sprang into the nfl in 1969. the heisman trophy winner out of usc with an electric smile and catchy name who would later be nick named juice. playing on bad buffalo bills teams didn't diminish the attraction. simpson became the first running back to gain 2,000 yards in a season. several all pro years followed. then he became david beckham before beckham a transcendent icon. the ads live on on youtube. >> hertz, the superstar in rent a car. >> we want to be like o.j. we did the o.j. run through the crowded airport like he did in those hertz commercials. >> reporter: he crossed seamlessly into hollywood with roles in movies like "the towering inferno" and later
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"naked gun" trilogy. on screens big and small, as an actor, pitch man, network football analyst, o.j. simpson observers say had a charm, that smile, that guy next door vibe, that made whites and african-americans equally comfortable with him. in june, 1994, a much more ominous and bizarre chant of go, o.j., go. pockets of small crowds in l.a. cheered simpson as he led police on the notorious white bronco chase. simpson's charges found him eventually acquitted but as compellingly as he brought americans of all races together in admiring him in the '70s and '80s his trial cast the deepest and most disturbing divides. >> it pitted black against white
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and people who -- rich against poor. no one didn't have an opinion about whether or not o.j. was guilty. you either thought he was guilty or you thought he was the victim of racist police and incompetent prosecution. >> o'keefe says it was also one of those water shed cultural moments when america was shaken out of its habit of fawning over celebrities. after the simpson murder trial, we were never quite as shocked again when we found out that our idols, people like michael jackson and lance armstrong weren't quite what we thought. >> fascination i sense with o.j. simpson is still multi generational. >> it is. the younger people remember the murder trial and all the sensation around that. when we were watching tv every day watching that trial. people of your generation, my generation remember him playing football. we remember his movies, the ads. he really is transcendent in that way. when you talk to very young people, you try to compare him to somebody now like i don't know, maybe lady gaga, to try to get across to them, this guy was a huge superstar in the '70s and 80s. hard to put it into words.
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he was everywhere. >> it seems a lot of us always will remember exactly where we were when we were watching that bronco chase. >> where were you? >> on the north lawn of the white house. i was the white house correspondent and with you late that night and there i was getting preempted by o.j. simpson because the whole world was watching. >> the white house wasn't quite as important that night. >> during the bill clinton administration. >> we were transfixed. it was kind of odd. we were watching the unraveling of his life. i remember saying that to my wife at the time. this is more bizarre than you can imagine. >> still bizarre. >> yes. >> all these years later. we'll see what happens next week in that hearing in las vegas. good report. thank you. just ahead a cnn money exclusive from billion air to prisoner. now making just $40 a month. bernard madoff speaking out about the notorious ponzi scheme that he created that destroyed thousands of lives. and a brazen jewelry heist in the middle of one of the world's great film festivals. details on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of diamonds
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his fall has been spectacular. once a billionaire and head of his own finance firm these days bernie madoff is a prisoner, just a number making $40 a month. he is serving a 150-year sentence after admitting to a ponzi scheme that stole billions of dollars from thousands of investors. and now he says this. it was certainly never my intention for this to happen. i thought i could work myself out of a temporary situation but it kept getting worse and worse
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and i didn't have the courage to admit what i had done. cnn money's aaron smith spoke exclusively with madoff by phone. you have a fascinating glimpse into madoff's day-to-day life. he is in north carolina at a federal prison there. he says he is not sleeping. what is his explanation? >> well, wolf. thank you. one of the first things he mentioned to me when he called me last week and actually called me several times, he basically said that he is haunted by his son's death and feels responsible for the death of his older son mark who as we know committed suicide. he hanged himself on december 11, 2010, actually the second anniversary of his father's arrest. this is one of the first things he mentioned. he also said it is very difficult for him to be separated from his family. he mentions he was married 54 years to his wife ruth. he feels disconnected.
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he may have called me because he feels lonely. >> did you know him from before? why would he call you? how did you set up this phone interview? >> i wrote him a letter and i included my number in the letter. i told him i had written many stories about him over the last several years. and i used to speak to his lawyer but he no longer is being represented by that lawyer and i wanted to get his point of view. i never really had any direct contact with him. he called me collect and i put money into his account, his prison phone account. and i spoke to him three times last week. >> how did he sound? what was the nature of his voice? did he have any sort of -- he is 75 years old. he knows the enormous damage he caused so many people out there who invested all of their money in him hoping they would be able to retire one day, live comfortably. he bankrupted so many families, decent people. how did he sound to you? >> he sounded very calm and
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collected. he sounded almost sort of grandfatherly but it sounds like he's in pretty good health. he doesn't necessarily sound like how you might envision a 75-year-old man who has been in prison several years coming across. he is clearly very intelligent. when he started talking about the trades he used to do and going into the wall street jargon some of it was over my head and i found it a little bit intimidating at times. and i started to think about how he used to communicate with his investors. i can totally see how someone would give him money. he is very reassuring and he definitely sounds like a man who knows what he is doing. >> he caused his son to commit suicide and destroyed so many people's lives. what does he do now? >> he has a job where he makes $40 a month. that is a month. and he basically cleans off phones and computers and he checks to see if they're still
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working. these are the computers and phones for the prison system. he emphasized this not a technical job. it requires no skill whatsoever. and that's what he is doing right now. he says he only works a few hours a day which i think gives him a considerable amount of down time to basically think about where he is right now. >> thanks very much. aaron, good work from cnn money doing an excellent job reporting on bernie madoff. you can read more of aaron smith's interview on bernie madoff at cnn money.com. a brazen jewelry heist amid the glitz and the glamour of one of the entertainment world's biggest events the cannes film festival. diamonds worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and owned by one of the leading jewelers to the stars stolen from a hotel room. >> reporter: wolf, cannes is all about glamour but all of that
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bling it seems has attracted attention of the criminal kind. shopard is the name in bling at the cannes film festival. the swiss jeweler not only drapes the rich and famous in diamonds it even makes the coveted 24 carat gold award. now someone has pulled a hollywood worthy heist on a set of chopard jewels. it happened at the hotel in cannes. french police say the jewels were stashed in the hotel safe of a chopard employee. thieves gained access and simply unscrewed the safe and took it off the wall. >> there is currently an investigation under way so we can only let you know that the value of the pieces stolen is far lower than those in the figures circulating in the media. the jewelry stolen are not part of the collection of the jewels that are worn by actresses during the cannes film festival. >> paris hilton is hosting a party in vegas tonight. >> where does she live? >> the jewels were stolen at the same time the sophia copola film "the bling ring" was premiering
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at cannes a movie about a group of teen thieves robbing celebrity homes. twitter buzzed with speculation of a pr stunt but french police say this heist is for real. >> so many beautiful things. >> cannes is a massive show case for glamour. a-listers flaunt tens of millions of dollars in clothing and jewels every single day of the festival. it seems that also makes it a tempting target for thieves. cannes is no stranger to theft. in 2009 there were two heists on stores by chopard and cartier totaling nearly $30 million in jewels. so comparatively, this one is just a drop in the bucket, wolf. >> thank you. coming up, a drone jet takes off from an aircraft carrier. the first step toward stealthy robot war planes operating without human controllers. he left congress after a scandal involving sexting and lewd messages but is anthony weiner now about to run for
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after a sex scandal during his time as south carolina's governor, republican mark sanford has completed a remarkable comeback, returning to congress this week. can democrat anthony weiner make a similar comeback? after a sexting scandal ended his congressional career, he may soon be running for mayor of new york. here's cnn national political correspondent jim acosta. >> reporter: wolf, there might be another politician following in the footsteps of former south carolina governor mark sanford on the comeback trail.
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but anthony weiner can ask sanford, redemption doesn't come easy. anthony weiner has plenty to chat about these days. the former new york city congressman who resigned after caught exposing himself online may have revealed something new this week, that he's running for mayor of the big apple. a new york tv station caught this of weiner and his wife shooting a commercial outside his home. >> i don't have any comment. i ran for mayor in 2005, 2009. i care a great deal about my state. >> reporter: weiner didn't confirm it, but the late-night comedians are counting it as a done deal. >> every time you look at the guy, you go, oh! the face doesn't ring a bell, but -- i don't know. >> reporter: weiner knows
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overcoming his past will be a challenge. >> we'll have a chance to -- if i decide to run, to discuss that. >> reporter: but not impossible. >> congratulations, congressman. >> reporter: just ask mark sanford whose extramarital affair didn't stop him from getting a seat in congress. >> do you think weiner has a chance at mayor? >> reporter: but weiner is getting a taste of the coming scrutiny, politico reporting his wife, a former top adviser of secretary of state hillary clinton, did outside consulting work, in her final months at the department. a clinton spokesman said she complied with her disclosure requirements, adding, this was neither special nor an arrangement. >> there are many people who operate as consultants throughout the federal government. i'm very proud of the work my wife has done on behalf of secretary clinton. >> do you see how people would have an issue with it? being paid by the government and
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on the side, getting private money? >> sounds like you want to interview her yourself. >> reporter: a flash of the weiner passion that has him close to a decision on running. >> days, weeks, can't much more than that. it will be soon. if i decide to run, i'll obviously be running because i think i can win. >> reporter: two polls show eed that he would enter the mayoral race in second place, behind christine quinn, who is still the favorite. wolf? >> jim acosta with that report, thank you. coming up, a shocking new twist in this week's spy scandal. why would russia want to blow the cover of the cia moscow station chief? taking off from a u.s. aircraft carrier and it's about to take drone warfare to a whole new level. we went out and asked people a simple question:
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how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. remotely piloted drones already devastating weapons in the fight against terrorism. now america's taking a big step toward extending its reach, launching an unmanned jet from an aircraft carrier. that could soon lead to stealthy robot warplanes without human controllers. here's barbara starr. >> reporter: this is aviation history. with a deafening engine roar, a navy jet takes off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. there is no pilot onboard.
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>> this is really a red letter day. >> reporter: experts say that is no exaggeration. peter finger wrote a book on america's drones. >> it was one of these things they said would never happen, and they were able to do it. >> reporter: it looks like the stealth b-2 bomber, but this is just a prototype. the navy wants to build planes like this that will carry weapons and land back on the deck of an aircraft carrier all controlled by koom puters. it means the navy can attack the most dangerous targets without putting pilots at risk. the u.s. can send them almost anywhere in the world without having to rely on other countries for bases. finger says the advances in technology means it's almost like having an actual pilot in the cockpit landing a jet. >> the f-18, for example, has a system where there's a pilot inside it, but computers are taking over many of the primary tasks when it's doing something
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like landing on an aircraft carrier. >> the aircraft is commanded to other places, and new missions. we envision it will have programming to be able to sense the environment. >> reporter: the navy will now have to consider the moral and ethical implications having warplanes not under the constant control of human beings. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. happening now, spy war is heating up. first this arrest, now russia outs the man it says is the cia station chief in moscow. a killer tornado outbreak. bigger than anyone thought. now emotional survivors are speaking out. and the mayor of the fourth largest city in north america accused of smoking crack and allegedly caught on tape. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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it's the biggest twist yet in a spy scandal that exploded this week. russian media blowing the cover of what they say is the top man in moscow. the move dramatically ups the ante in a high stakes spy game between russia and the united states. cnn's foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is following all of this from the state department. what's going on here, jill? >> you know, wolf, this story broke four days ago, and it just won't stop. every day, the russian media are coming out with more allegations, and this latest chapter is the outing of what they say is a cia station chief in moss kouf. moscow. the plot thickens, in an already convoluted and public spy scandal. just days after an alleged cia officer ryan foegle, claiming they caught him red handed trying to recruit a russian
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agent, in a highly unusual step, they publishes the name of what it claims is the cia station chief at a u.s. embassy moscow. the cia isn't commenting. it also broadcast a recording of an alleged second american spy expelled in january. details of the spy scandal have been splashed across the russian media. interfax news agency even reporting that the wigs ryan fogel wore to disguise himself are similar to wigs taken from a cia agent caught in 1986. experienced russia watchers say it's not surprising alleged spies are being unmasked, but they question, why so publicly and why now? they say it could be the cold wear hangovers, suspicions that just won't die. or an fsb warning to russians,
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no the to work with the u.s. or maybe the u.s. behind the scenes did something to anger moscow. but it's happening just as secretary of state john kerry and russian foreign minister are cooperating more on syria. russia is helping in the standoff with north korea. russia's fsb gave the fbi intelligence on one of the boston bombers. in the world of spying, much goes on in the shadows. one former cia officer says, it's all part of america's improved, but sometimes schizophrenic relationship with russia. >> during the cold war, it was all sort of either/or. you're for us or against us. they were our adversaries, everything they did was bad. you know, we're in a different era. >> and in a bizarre footnote, we went back this afternoon to check that media story, the russian media story about the
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cia station chief, and lo and behold, his name was no longer there. so maybe, wolf, there really is such a thing as disappearing ink even on the web. >> maybe the russians made a mistake and got the wrong guy and decided to remove the name also. jill, thanks very much to are that report. i want to dig a little bit deeper right now with cnn intelligence analyst, the former cia officer, robert behr. bob, thanks very much for coming in. you worked in moscow right after the fall of the soviet union. what's going on here in your assessment? >> i think there's a deep problem here, wolf. this could have been done very quietly. if it was a kgb against the cia. simply you expel one, two, three people. everyone if you want. put them on an airplane, nobody knows any better. the message gets across. but the kgb is clearly at war with the cia, in a very obvious way. it's got to be something very
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serious. i, frankly think, and i still think, and i've thought for a while that some of this stuff we're seeing coming out, the wigs, letters, have been manufactured by the kgb. the cia just dot not operate that way. it does not write letters. what i'm saying here is, they're overdramatizing this because there's a deeper problem. now, my guess is as good as anyone's. it could be over syria, it could be over adoptions, it could be thanks to the kerry visit to moscow last week. i just don't know. but i don't think we should downplay this division. this is the worst time it could possibly come, you know, as we're going into the syrian negotiations. >> the way the russians described that young diplomat who was accused of being a cia operative, with the big and the letter and the money and the r paraphernal paraphernalia, did that sound realistic to you? >> not at all, wolf. seriously, you know, the training i went through that's called denied area of operations, and it goes for
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months. it's the most rigorous training there is in the u.s. government. by the end of it, if you don't fail out, and a lot of people do, you know how to operate in a place like moscow and get away with it. we understand the kgb, how they operate, what they're capable of. frankly, wolf, being as modest as i can, we can run circles around them. what went wrong this time? i simply don't know. i think it's a provocation on the part of the russians myself. >> do you this i it could be sort of payback for what the u.s. did a few years ago? remember when the sufficient rounded up what the u.s. said was a russian spy ring in new york, and elsewhere, anna chapman, who was the good looking redheaded woman who was sent back to russia? that was highly publicized. a lot of tv, pictures, stuff like that. is this just payback to what the u.s. did then? >> you know, wolf, i think you may be on to something. keep in mind, that the president of russia, putin, was once head of the kgb, a kgb officer
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himself, left as a colonel. he could have been mad about that, waited for revenge. he's known to be very volatile. he puts a lot of faith in his intelligence services. and he could have remembered it all these years and finally said, here, i'm doing it. i don't care what the negotiations are over syria or anything else. this is payback, absolutely possible. >> we remember, she was shown with a bunch of wigs, too. and her alleged espionage ring in new york, and the other russians picked up waiting supposedly to be activated. that's my sense it could have been payback. i'm sure we'll learn more down the road. bob, thanks very much. >> thanks. we received a statement today from a man who reports, say he was visited by tamerlan tsarnaev just before the boston ma are marathon bombing. his statement today says, and i'll read it to our viewers, i would like to state that i
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barely knew the tsarnaev family, and only met them for the first time after we moved to the united states. during the very few encounters which were initiated by tsarnaev, we have never discussed political or religious issues, so i could never guess what ideas were in their minds. should i have any suspicions, i would do my duty to prevent what happened at the boston marathon. that statement coming in today, getting the story yesterday from brian todd. up next, scandal, stealing president obama's spotlight. we're going to tell you how he's trying without too much success, at least so far, to change the subject. plus, o.j. simpson's old and new attorneys confronted each other today. things got pretty testy. you're going to want to hear what happened. car! hey! [squeals] ♪ [ewh!] [baby crying]
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that your mouth is under attack, from food particles and bacteria. try fixodent. it helps create a food seal defense for a clean mouth and kills bacteria for fresh breath. ♪ fixodent, and forget it. the president is trying to keep up the appearance as usual, but his administration is having
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problems. the obama administration first learned there was trouble over at the irs. the inspector general saying he told senior treasury officials about the irs investigation in june of last year. that would be before the presidential election. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin has been looking into this story for us. what are you finding out, jessica? >> administration officials were told that there was an ongoing ig investigation after the irs before the 2012 presidential election. we now know that. but we're assured by administration officials that they did not know the outcome of that audit until just weeks ago. so i'll just walk you through the facts. as you say, they were told over at the treasury department about this audit back in june of 2012. now, let's look at this graphic we had built for you. in the summer of last year, the deputy treasury secretary was informed of the investigation, but again, just the fact that it was going on, not that there was any actual wrongdoing found.
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then in november there was the presidential election. in march, that's when the treasury department was first informed at a staff level only we're told, that there was -- they were given a draft that showed there had been wrongdoing. they found wrongdoing, but that only got to the staff level. in april of 2012, a final report got to the treasury secretary, and the deputy treasury secretary. and then in may, we all know that the final report went public. so it was in march of this year that others inside the treasury department got word, and then in april that the treasury secretary found out. i'm told that treasury officials never told anyone outside the treasury department about it. so that includes the white house. the problem, wolf, for officials here, is that, as they answer some questions, that only raises other questions, and so the answer for the president today was just to get out of town.
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sticking to his pre-crisis schedule, president obama hit the road, visiting a manufacturing plant. >> others may get distracted by chasing every fleeting issue that passes by, but the middle class will always be my number one focus. >> reporter: and a baltimore elementary school. >> did you see me on tv? >> reporter: an apparent effort to show the controversies in washington aren't changing his agenda. but the outcry on capitol hill is only growing. the first hearing over the irs scandal took place friday. >> why did the irs repeatedly target the american people, and then keep that fact covered up for so long? >> every tweet from your tweeter account. >> this is very chilling for the american people. >> i promise the american people this investigation has just begun. hearing adjourned. >> reporter: the white house attempted to contain the fallout.
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pressing the resignation of the irs chief. >> it's important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward. >> reporter: to rebutt a tax over-the-benghazi talking points, officials here released 100 pages over internal e-mails while the president called on congress to step up funding for embassy security. >> and better secure our posts around the world. >> reporter: turning to the wave of sexual assault cases hitting the military, the president made a show of meeting with pentagon brass to talk solutions. and to quiet press outrage over the seizure of reporter phone records in a leaks investigation, new support for a media shield law. >> we need to provide the protections to the media that this legislation would do. >> reporter: how effective were these efforts at damage control? the jury's still out. now, wolf, there was some positive news for the administration this week, after
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months of impasse. a bipartisan group in the house of representatives did reach agreement in principle on an immigration reform framework. and there was some positive news on the deficit. but both of those items will take a long time to pay dividends. and the administration will have to still fight the crises for now, if they ever want to be able to maximize both of these agenda items in the long term. wolf? >> jessica yellin over at the white house, thanks very much. let's dig a little bit deeper now with our chief political correspondent, host of the "state of the union" candy crowley. the president trying to change the subject today, didn't work that well, because the subject is still out there. >> there's a formula for presidents who get into political trouble. and it begins with trying to change the questions. which he did pretty well, i think, in the rose garden, at least it was a good first step. went out there and said, okay, what we really noo ed is money
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to help secure the embassies. that was his response to the benghazi problem. he talked about the irs, and said, well, this was done, because i take these leaks very seriously, because they endanger americans. put it in a broader 50,000-foot context. this wasn't about reporters, it was about the safety of americans. he went after the irs, and said, i am angry. i'm just as angry as you are, and i've already fired people and we're going to prevent this from happening again. next step, change the subject. that's today. we're talking about jobs and the economy, and oh, my goodness, these people are looking at fleeting issues but i'll still focused on you. the pro be is, the third element for recovering from these, is time. you've got all these house republicans in particular out there going, i'm going to have a committee hearing on this angle and a committee hearing on this angle. so for the irs, the a.p. story of the phone records, as well as for benghazi, there are many more hearings to come. so it's going to take a while.
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>> which one do you think worries the administration the most? >> if you talk to them, the one they're most defensive about, that's how i take the -- that's how i sort of glean what they think is most important is, the irs. they do know that that has resonance, the reach of the government, et cetera, et cetera. i will also say that part of it is they feel most of the facts, that there's no smoking gun in terms of the a.p. thing, they feel that the benghazi facts are out there. the irs, there's still so many questions. i think kind of the unknown, waking up in the morning and thinking, oh, wait, we didn't know this, what are we going to do now. i this i that adds to it. >> candy will have a lot more sunday morning, 9:00 a.m., "state of the union," new poll numbers coming out now on how the public feels. thanks, candy. >> thanks, wolf. a case of life imitating art in a film festival. everyone's talking about a jewel
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stunning statistics on sexual assault in the u.s. military. thousands of cases each year. but only a fraction of them are reported. now the commander in chief himself is demanding action, military leaders are speaking out about the causes. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is working the story for us. what's the very latest, barbara? >> well, wolf, for too many victims, these are sex crimes of silence. here at the pentagon, chuck
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hagel said that is going to change. retired air force tech sergeant jennifer north is still full of emotion about being sexually assaulted. >> the best option for me was to try to endure it, to suck it up, and try and make it -- sorry. >> last year, in the air force, nearly 800 cases of sexual assault and unwanted contact were reported. across the military services, nobody knows how many victims stayed silent. president obama is making clear, he wants to see this behavior end. >> not only is it a crime, not only is it shameful, and disgraceful -- >> reporter: after just a little more than two months on the job, defense secretary chuck hagel is at the center of the accountability question. why has no senior commander been fired for not dealing with years of rising sex crimes in the
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ranks. hagel has ordered retraining and education for the troops, and says he will crack down if needed. >> it's just not good enough for people to walk out of my office and say, well, we're doing it. i want to know how it's being done, and i want to know everything about it. >> reporter: but why are there so many cases? an estimated 3,000 in 2011. >> yes. alcohol does play a very big factor in sexual assault. >> reporter: the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the president's top military adviser, also says years of war may have subtly changed how the military deals with it all. >> you might argue that we've become a little too forgiving, because of, you know, because if a perpetrator shows up at a court mags with a rack of ribbons and a purple heart, there is certainly the risk we might be a little too forgiving
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of that particular crime. >> now, in the last two weeks, three service members assigned to sexual assault prevention units have been relieved of duty for misconduct, including some allegations of sexual misconduct. all of this, wolf, adding to the pressure on the pentagon to get moving on this problem. >> they've got to get moving, and they've got to fix it, and fix it right away. barbara, thank you. o. jflt simpson's lawyers, past and present, do battle in a heated courtroom today. it got so nasty the judge had to step in. plus, a big city mayor who reporters say was caught on tape smoking crack. i want to make things more secure.
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happening now, fireworks at today's o.j. simpson hearing out in las vegas. you'll hear his old and new attorneys really go at each other. also, the mayor of a major canadian city fighting allegations of drug use. and as people across north texas pick up the pieces, forecasters say it could be a
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very bad weekend for tornadoes across a huge swath of the u.s. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." intensz courtroom drama, las vegas, where o.j. simpson is seeking a new trial on kidnapping and robbery charges. their attorneys, various attorneys exchanging heated arguments, so heated the judge had to step in. cnn's george howell is on the scene for us. it got pretty lively, i take it, george, out there? >> wolf, absolutely. i just stepped out of the courtroom. fa ir to say this is a meticulous, grueling examination of yale galanter and how he handled this case. it's still under way right now. galanter this morning admitted he felt uncomfortable being put in this position to effectively lift the veil and reveal how he defended his client several years. that goes to the heat of the new team, to paint galanter as an
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ineffective attorney at the time and simply in it for the money. in his bid to get a new trial, o.j. simpson watched attentively as his attorneys scrutinized his former attorney, yale galanter. prosecutors called him to take the stand to rebut claims that he failed to reasonably represent simpson in the 2008 kidnapping and robbery trial, and that his appeal to the nevada supreme court. >> from my point of view, i wanted to do everything that i could possibly do to give o.j. a shot at getting released. >> reporter: galanter told the court he was fond of simpson and thought the conviction was unfair. but in heated cross-examination, by one of simpson's attorneys -- >> the man has put his interests, his financial interests above the interests of his client. >> reporter: galanter, several times, go the testy. >> my testimony is my testimony. ask me what the question is. i've already testified as to my knowledge of the rules.
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what's your question? just say it was a flat fee and -- >> do you want me to read the flat fee? >> read page 4. >> both of you stop. >> you only paid him 15, you're telling us you paud him 25,000. >> reporter: simpson's team pressed on, claiming galanter was cagey about expenses through the trial, shorting or not even paying some colleagues to pocket as much of simpson's money as possible. earlier this week, o.j. simpson even took the stand to accuse galanter of giving him bad legal advice, claiming his then attorney told him he could confront two men he believed had stolen property from him, the day before the incident happened. >> what was the advice to you? >> that if they didn't give me the stuff, yeah, call the police. >> okay. >> and that is what i told everybody involved, that if they don't give it to me, i'm going to get the police in it. >> at the time you're leaving the palace station room, were
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you aware of any use or display of weapons? >> no. >> during the incident? >> no, not at all. >> reporter: but with his former attorney now on the spot, galanter revealed when pressed that simpson did admit to him he did know guns were present. galanter also refuted claims that he failed to tell simpson about a plea deal that could have resulted in less time in prison, because the discussions about a deal didn't go anywhere. in the he said/he said debate over what could have or should have happened, galanter held firm. >> the truth of the matter is, when you look at the entire trial, i don't think i could have fought harder, done more, or -- i mean, i really did. i put every ounce of blood, sweat and soul i had into defending him. >> so, wolf, right now, it's about 3:30 here in nevada. plenty of time for this case to continue. it's still unclear how the judge, or when the judge will decide in this case.
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to decide whether, again, whether yale galanter was effective in his defense, or if o.j. simpson deserves a new trial. >> you'll let us know when we get a decision. thanks very much for that, george howell, in las vegas. the mayor of toronto has allegedly been caught on tape smoking crack. the video has been viewed by reporters from the toronto "star" newspaper. the mayor denies the allegations. >> absolutely not. it's ridiculous. >> cnn's paula newton is following developments in ottawa right now. paula, what does this video show us? >> the toronto "star" reporters say they each viewed it three times. they say in broad daylight, essentially, here is the mayor smoking crack cocaine with a pipe. and he is with other people who are taking the cell phone video. but it appears that the mayor
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does not know he's being filmed, because he actually says at one point, you're not rolling on that, are you? and apparently the video stops. you just heard the mayor denying this. we have no way of authenticating this video, wolf. i have not seen it, and the toronto "star" said that we have to take their word for it. this is quite a scandal. it's been difficult to talk about anything else. the mayor and his lawyers say these charges are ridiculous and they'll fight it. gawker.com who has been on top of this story has started a crowd sourcing thing online to raise money to get the video released. the "star" says it was shown this video by a person who claims to sell crack cocaine to the mayor, and he says he won't release that video until he gets cash. tens of thousands of dollars, wolf. and gawker.com now has $20,000 in hand to release that video. so this story isn't going anywhere. >> did the toronto "star" say how much cash the guy wanted for that video? >> they said they did not have a
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figure, but it was in the tens of thousands. they said they refused to pay for it, which is why they were just allowed to look at it. again, the mayor and his lawyer saying no video exists. and we here at cnn, wolf, have not seen the video or not able to authenticate it. >> paula newton watching this story for us in canada, thank you very much. an emotional interview with survivors of a massive killer tornado. >> i just came to that point. and i just gave up. this is it. i just said, this is it. we're gone. we thought we were gone. [ female announcer ] a classic meatloaf recipe from stouffer's
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a sliver of relief today in the north texas town, devastated by tornadoes. authorities now say they've accounted for all seven people they had feared were missing. the storms killed six people, destroyed so many homes. alina is joining us now live. what's the latest, alina? >> reporter: wolf, we spent the afternoon talking to survivors, people who lived in the subdivision called rancho grasso. one of the hardest hit areas here. the place where six people died. we spoke with one woman who was home with her children when the twister hit. she said they sought shelter in the bathtub. she got very emotional when she talked to us about the moment she realized that they might not survive. take a listen. >> i just came to that point, and i just gave up. this is it. i just said, this is it. we're gone. we thought we were gone.
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i thought -- i just seen myself -- i don't know. i just came to that point. i just gave up. i couldn't hold no more, you know? it was that much. strong winds, the mattress -- we felt that, you know, it was trying to pull the mattresses away. but then it changed to -- it sucked the whole air from that small space. and we just couldn't breathe there for a moment. i just don't understand. and that's whenever i said, you know, i can't do this. you know? >> you thought it was over? >> yes. we're gone. and i just told god, just take over. you know, whatever, just take over, i can't do this. and that's whenever -- you know, i don't know. a couple of seconds it lasted,
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you know, we couldn't breathe. and i started breathing again, it stopped. >> and that was ruth reliving that moment for us. she obviously survived of the she was not hurt. her children were not hurt. she's very thankful for that. but she did lose everything that she owned. the hood county sheriff's office here said their hope is they'll be allowing residents back into that subdivision in the morning. we'll just have to wait to see what happens tomorrow. wolf? >> i know there are two shelters that are open in the area right now, alina. is the zapato family staying there? >> they're pretty lucky, a local church has been helping them out. they provided them with a temporary home while they rebuild. they've even given them a car to use while they rebuild. >> alina, covering this story. midwesterners need to watch the weather this weekend.
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our meteorologist chad myers is joining us from the cnn severe weather center with a heads-up with what's coming over the weekend. what do we know, chad? >> we know there will be three outbreaks of severe weather, one saturday, one sunday, and another on monday, progressing from nebraska, eventually almost all the way to chicago. by this time of the year we should have 500 tornadoes on the ground, on average. we've only had 250. it doesn't even stack up to what we should have had in april. in's been a tornado drought. there's been a rain drought for that matter, too. we'll make up for some of those tornadoes this weekend. from the dakotas back into the texas panhandle for tomorrow. it slides eastward to omaha, kansas city, oklahoma city, more populated towns, again, even on monday. we're talking chicago, st. louis, all the way down to arkansas, saturday, sunday, and eventually into monday. with ecould see dozens of tornadoes a day. texas is a wakeup call. when you look out there and see houses missing, wolf, the foundation is there, the slab is
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there, and there is nothing else. this is the wakeup call that you need if you don't have a noaa weather radio. you go find them. they're called s.a.m.e., it means you can program your own county. the old ones just went off all night long, for every county in the state. by the time they got to you, you just threw it out the window or turned it off. they could save your life this weekend. >> excellent advice from chad, as he always gives our viewers. thank you. cnn's anthony bourdain has been to a country few americans have ventured into it these days. he's here to tell us why libya is both inspiring right now as well as heartbreaking. lights, cameras, movie stars and very unexpected jewel thieves. de our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover, and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i've been with bp for 24 years. i was part of the team that helped deliver
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violence and turmoil with tragic significance for americans of the anthony bourdain takes us to libya in his new cnn series parts unknown, airs this sunday night. he's here in "the situation room," and joins us with a preview. we're excited anthony bourdain is here in "the situation room." is this your first time in "the situation room"? >> yes. i'm excited. >> pretty nice, isn't it? >> it's not libya. >> what was it like? >> one word, inspiring. it was a very inspiring place to go. >> inspiring politically, or as far as food is concerned? >> well, not so much for food. but i just got the sense that, you know, you watch the news, and you wonder who did these
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things. who overthrew this monstrous dictator, who are these people. and again and again, i found the young people, many of them who had studied abroad and who returned home to fight, made themselves into militias, almost overnight, i mean, it was a heartbreaking -- a lot of earnest people who expressed a desire to remake their country, such that they could enjoy the things that -- they would say, we just want the things europe has. >> was the arab spring, and we all had so many great expectations, as far as the arab spring in north africa and the middle east is concerned, does it seem to be playing out there in a positive sense? because we're hearing about al qaeda, and resurgence and anti-american. we, of course, know what happened in benghazi last september 11th. >> all i kept hearing was, we got rid of gadhafi, we can fix this. nobody there said, everybody's going to be great in a year.
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everybody there said it's going to take five, ten years to have something re seming a cohesive functioning government. now it's a very much do-it-yourself system, everything from traffic direction, basic social services, seemed to be done on a voluntary basis with different militias with different agendas. but i, again and again, bumped into kids that -- >> this is in tripoli? >> and missrada in particular. young people who wanted simple, not scary things. their aspirations for their country seemed to be things that i could understand, and relate to. they just wanted to join the 21st century. very different than what the impression might be from all of the bad news you see. >> i hope it works. all of us hope it works. were you ever scared? >> uncomfortable at times. but i think that's probably something that, you know, real correspondents do all the time. i was much more excited and
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intrigued by the people i met. it was something that really surprised me. >> let's talk food. how was the food? >> pretty simple. traditional mesh weed, a whole roasted goat, or lamb. it's something i'm used to. beach barbecue. meat upon a stick. a few fried local specialties that were quite nice. the surprise to me were the first attempts at recreating american fast food, which is something that the kids seem to really, really want. we went to a place called uncle kentucky, which is a kentucky fried chicken knockoff. not exactly franchising over there. in the interim there, like everything else, they're doing it themselves and trying to create something that looks and feels like american fast food. >> north africa is a beautiful place, mediterranean is fabulous. i've been throughout north africa. if there were real peace, and
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stability, that place would be thriving. >> well, tripoli is a very -- still has the:colonial architecture from colonial days. still some italian cooking traditions left over from the italians. fantastic seafood. there's no doubt that there are a lot of people there who would very much like to hurt us, and there are forces at work in libya that would like to turn back the clock, and keep things chaotic. but the sense i got every day, everywhere i went, was hopeful of people struggling to join the rest of the world. >> on food, a question i always wanted to ask you, because you eat everything, and you taste everything. you're a lot more daring than i am, ever. do you ever get queasy, sick, do you ever react, or is your stomach kind of used to all this stuff? >> i'm a professional, so we -- not just me, but my crew does pretty with el. i found again and again after 13 years, that you're far more
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likely to get sick from the hotel breakfast buffet than eating local indigenous food. none of these people are in business by poisoning their neighbors. the hotel buffet is a transient hotel. i've been lucky. >> there are certain things you always stay away from, though? >> it's the breakfast buffet. the scrambled eggs and chafing dish, it's lethal. >> sometimes the salad, they wash the lettuce, it's not the greatest water. >> caesar salad would not be a good option in tripoli or kabul. >> sunday night, 9:00 p.m. eastern. i loved tangier. it was excellent. you're doing great work. >> thank you. >> thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> welcome to cnn. >> thank you. unexpected mystery over at the famous film festival in cannes. stay with us for the story of a daring jewel theft that wasn't on screen. you make a great team.
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how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪
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[ whirring ] [ dog barks ] i want to treat more dogs. ♪ our business needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting to mobile apps, small business solutions from at&t have the security you need to get you there. call us. we can show you how at&t solutions can help you do what you do... even better. ♪
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getting disturbing news coming into "the situation room." a crash on one of the major commuter railroad lines coming out of new york city. a connecticut police officer telling cnn a train has tee railed on the metro fairfield bridgeport line. police are en route to the scene, we're told. we'll have more details. but we do have brian alvarez, who witnessed what was going on, joining us on the phone. brian, how close are you to these pictures? they look pretty awful, this collision, this metro north collision. >> yeah, it's pretty drastic over there. >> tell us what you saw. >> as i walked off, i just saw lots of rubble. and i saw this one car, and it was completely just like destroyed. and they were pulling people out of the cart. and they have broken body limbs. they were allbloody.
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>> we're told by a spokesperson for metro north that it happened at around 6:10 p.m. that's less than an hour or so ago. it was an eastbound train collided with a westbound train. no reports of life-threatening injuries. there are some reports of nonlife-threatening injuries, the new haven line is suspended, we're told, right now in both dresses between stanford and new haven. how close to the wreckage are you right now, brian? >> right now, i'm literally just a three-minute walk away. >> stand by for a moment, brian, because we've got chris martin joining us on the phone. chris, you were on one of those trains that collided, is that right? >> that's right. i was on the new york-bound train. >> you were heading to new york. what happened? >> well, out of nowhere, there was a sort of jolt, and a very abrupt halt. i think we were just leaving the
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bridgeport station heading to the fairfield metro station, and as far as we can tell, there was the new haven-bound train i think somehow derailed, and we collided, and then we derailed as well. i was in one of the middle cars. so i didn't feel -- >> what was the impact on you? >> wolf, for us we were in the dark for a couple of minutes as they gathered what was going on. then they called all the doctors up to the front. that's when we knew there was probably some collision. and then the police here in bridgeport evacuated all of us. >> you're okay, right? >> yes, i'm okay. and certainly there are plenty of people in this parking lot that are okay. plenty of people shaken up. but the ambulance is dealing with the people that are not okay. but we have no idea what really happened. we don't know a lot of information, because we're kind of waiting here indefinitely as they sort out the safety of everyone. >> did you get a sense from what you saw, how many people may have been injured in this crash?
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>> i don't know. i can see like eight or nine ambulances. and i've maybe seen four or five people on stretchers. they could be taking precautions. it's really unclear, because we're just in a parking lot right now waiting it out. >> how busy, how crowded was the train? this is rush hour on a friday. must have been a lot of people on that train, i tsunami? >> it was a pretty full train. i imagine the one going up to new haven was probably fuller. but ours was pretty full. >> and you were heading towards new york for a friday night in new york city, is that right? >> correct. >> and so what do you see right now from your vantage point? >> right now, i just see the various fire department and police officials surveying the train, the one that we were on. there were a couple of people inside of it, a couple of other officials inside of it. and i see the ambulances, and
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the fire department vehicles. i guess they're just sort of assessing the situation. nobody's near the actual impact point, as far as any of the people who were riding on the commuter train. because they're trying, i guess, probably just to see who's there, who's all right. they were standing through the trains trying to see if people were inside. >> chris martin, helping us see what's going on. brian alvarez as well. we'll continue to watch what's going on here on cnn. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. erin burnett out front starts right now. breaking news in the boston marathon terror attack investigation. tonight, a judge's decision could mean something significant for the case going forward. plus, a russian speaking terror suspect made an appearance in an ohio courtroom today. why it might be time for us to rethink where the biggest threat is coming from. the cia's top man in moscow